The next three years in Dallas ISD present multiple opportunities to continue to transform the district into a premier urban institution. These potential opportunities include expanding early childhood education opportunities, creating more collegiate and career academies, and tackling issues of inequity. I seek re-election to the District 8 seat because these and other issues will require steady, thoughtful, and focused leadership that keeps children at the forefront of every decision. I hope to continue to serve our community and will work hard every day to make sure that all of our kids get the great education they deserve.
Success Starts Early
Expanding high quality early childhood education options will allow Dallas ISD to “get ahead of the game” by investing early in our children’s learning and development. There are currently more than 17,000 three and four year old children not accessing public pre-kindergarten through Dallas ISD. I am proud to have authored and passed the first early childhood education policy in the district's history that aimed to maximize the number of children ages 0-5 who have access to high quality early education. This plan focuses on creating more slots for pre-kindergarten by maximizing state dollars and efficiently using our facilities-doing everything we can to make sure every child in our district has access. It also builds strong public/private partnerships with childcare providers so that we can work together as community to support all of our students. As your school board member I will continue to ensure that we focus on ensuring all children have high quality early childhood education.
College and Careers Matter
While it is important to ensure kids get an early start towards success, it is equally critical that students at the tail end of their academic careers are prepared to enter college or the workforce. For too long, school systems have focused too much on tests and too little on the knowledge and skills one needs to make it in the 21st century. Luckily in Dallas ISD, we have decided to make sure students are well-rounded as their prepare to leave our schools. Through our Collegiate Academy model we have collaborated with local two and four-year colleges to ensure our high schoolers leave the district with with both a high school diploma and an associate's degree, cutting the cost of college and giving them a head start towards their bachelor's degree. But that's not it. We have also partnered with corporations across the metroplex to ensure students have job training that ensures they have the skills necessary to compete in today's workforce. I am seeking another three years on the board in order to expand this program to all high schools in Dallas ISD.
The data are clear, too many children in our district are suspended. Too many English as a second language (ESL) students do not have the teachers they need. Too many of our students live in communities of hyper-concentrated poverty. These issues of inequity are only a few of the myriad of challenges we face at the district. These problems require innovative solutions and they require them now. That's why I have proposed replacing the archaic practice of suspension with tools that help to grow the character of our students matched with training on how to use the tools for our campus staff. I have also proposed growing our ESL students to be our future dual-language educators. And I have not only challenged the district administration to work with the county and city to address issues of poverty, I have offered my own service by serving on Mayor Michael S. Rawlings' City Poverty Commission. I have done and will continue to do these things because I believe that every child, regardless of their circumstances, should be provided an education that unlocks their dreams in an educational institution that respects their human dignity.